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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Collingswood Book Fest!

So this past weekend I particpated in the Collingswood Book Festival in Collingswood, New Jersey for the very first time. It was all the way down in South Jersey, about a two hour drive from my house, mostly along the Turnpike, which is a long and boring road to drive. But once I got to Collingswood, I was enchanted. Not only is it a beautiful town with super cute shops and restaurants and a lovely library, but the event was MASSIVE! The town closed down its entire main street and there were tents set up right in the middle of the road. Authors had their own spots to show their books, plus there were seperate tents for readings and performances and signings. Here's a pic of the table I shared with four incredibly nice authors:

Each of the authors had her own unique story about how she got started in publishing. Erica Serdashney is a teacher (and a true Jersey Girl like me!) who wrote a book called Cranes for Cristian; the inspiring story of one of her students' struggle with cancer. Bree Donovan wrote a book about Olympic runner Steve Prefontaine called Steve Prefontaine - Rocketman, some of the proceeds from which go to benefit Steve's elementery school in Oregon. Michelle Weisen, who teaches writing at the college level, formed her own indy publishing company to publish her book, Lavinia's Window. She was nice enough to give me a copy and even though I've only had a chance to read a few pages, I'm hooked! It's historical fiction, which I love to read, but could never write, so I'm always impressed with the authors who can.
A little later in the day Courtney Sheinmel, middle grade author of My So Called Family and Positively, took the seat right next to mine. We'd never met before, but quickly found out we knew a lot of people in common, and had tons of fun doing our reading and question-and-answer together. Here's a pic of me and Courntey:

Then our mutual friend Wendy Mass arrived to do a reading from her latest book. Courtney and I were totally in awe of the huge line that formed for Wendy after her reading. We were in the presence of a star! This is a badly off-center pic of Wendy getting ready for her reading along with her teen interviewer Katie:

I also met a lot of incredible teen readers, many of whom were psyched to reed Geek Magnet, which still makes me smile. Can't wait to participate again next year!

Oh, and on the way home across my lovely state, I stopped at one of the New Jersey Turnpike rest stops and the sound system was playing Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer. You really can't get more Jersey than that!


Blogger Jackie Noel said...

Fun! You should come to Salt Lake City, Utah! =]

October 6, 2009 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger RKCharron said...

Hi Kieran :)
Thank you for sharing.
I loved the pictures.
Looks like a terrific time was had by all!
All the best,

October 7, 2009 at 3:15 AM  
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